Minecraft Dungeons Review

Minecraft is the best selling game of all time. Is the new one any good?


From Nintendo

Michael Taffe, Technical Director

Minecraft is the world’s best-selling game ever, by a long shot. The next closest title is Grand Theft Auto V, 70 million units behind Minecraft at 130 million sales. Now, Mojang, the company behind the game, has released Minecraft Dungeons. The game features much of the same style and characters as the original, but in an action-adventure Diablo game style. If this game is even one-tenth as popular as the original, then it will still be in the top 40 best-selling of all time.

The game currently has ten main levels and about a dozen side levels. The story consists of the “Arch-Ilager” (The nemesis of the Villagers, for the uninitiated) who has taken the creatively named Orb of Dominance. The Orb causes the Illager to become evil and try to destroy all the cities of the land. As a player, you must thwart his attempts at building armies and using other artifacts to kill the villagers.

As for the gameplay, there are dozens of armors, melee, and ranged weapons to collect, as well as pets and artifacts. The game has a good amount of mechanics and special abilities to unlock to keep things interesting without becoming overwhelming, as is complained about in Diablo.

The main attraction to the game is the name attached with it. As someone who first bought the original Minecraft eight years ago, I was pleased how the transition was made to the new game. The original mobs and creatures kept their main attributes while being given new fresh abilities in Dungeons. Mojang also debuted new mobs in this game that they say will make it over to the original in the near future.

The game’s multiplayer also works great. You and three other people can all play in the same world, with the game adapting the difficulty of the levels to compensate for the increase in players. There are some glitches in this, however. Sometimes players will spawn outside the map, and if you lose a level there’s a risk of the game crashing.

A complaint among longtime Minecraft players is the length of the game. The original game, costing around $30, has an unlimited amount of gameplay, with some players playing on a single world for years. Dungeons is a game without an open world and a set amount of things to do. If you rush through the game, you could beat the main story in a single night. 

However, if you take your time unlocking the secret levels and try to enjoy the game, rather than going for a speed run, the experience will easily take two or three weeks. For the $20 price tag, it doesn’t seem that bad. Furthermore, Mojang has said they will add new levels, some free and some paid in the future.

The final complaint many players have of the game is the item store. While some weapons and artifacts are found in game through killing bosses and finding chests, the main way to get new gear is through the two traders between levels. You can trade some of the in-game money made by killing mobs and beating levels for a random artifact or weapon. Compared to similar games in the same genre many find this lacking.

Overall, I found Minecraft Dungeons to be enjoyable. The graphics are much improved but faithful to the original with the same being true for the mobs and weapons. The new game uses the same ingredients of the old game to make something new and enjoyable. The game is well balanced, filled with fun game mechanics and interesting boss fights.

I doubt it will be as popular as the original open world game but for those still stuck inside its a $20 well spent.